Deported refugee granted bail in PNG

9:26 pm on 15 February 2017
    Loghman Sawari in Fiji.

Loghman Sawari in Fiji. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

A Papua New Guinea court has granted bail to the refugee Loghman Sawari who was deported from Fiji nearly two weeks ago.

Mr Sawari, who was detained by Australia at its refugee processing centre on Manus Island, fled to Fiji in fear of his safety after he tried to resettle in PNG.

But he was deported by Fiji's government in a move that was widely criticised by rights organisations, and on his return to PNG early this month, he was arrested and charged with supplying false information for the purposes of obtaining a passport.

Mr Sawari will plead not guilty to the charge.

The 21-year-old had been kept in police detention for a week and a half, which included a two night stay in hospital where he received treatment from a psychiatrist.

His lawyer, Loani Henao said Mr Sawari had been bailed to Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Port Moresby, where he has to abide by several conditions.

"My client must not leave Port Moresby, that he does not commit any offence, and that he presents to court," said Mr Henao in an interview soon after the decision, which was delayed by a day because of technical difficulties at the court.

Mr Henao said Mr Sawari will appear in court again on Monday.

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